- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Posted October 10, 2011
Live from Shakespeare's Globe
In London's Bankside district, a recreation of the original Globe Theatre opened in 1997, after years of research and fund-raising. Here the plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries are performed in the open air, as they were for Elizabethan audiences, without amplification, and with live musicians. (It's not totally authentic: the female roles are played by women.) The current video, of one of the lesser-known comedies, has been edited from two actual performances; in fact, you can see some morons using their flash cameras during the instrumental prelude. (The groundlings never change.) Standouts among the large cast are Trystan Gravelle, charming as the reluctant scholar Berowne, and Michelle Terry as an imperious princess. Hi-def filming mixes long shots and close-ups effectively, and sound can be ordinary stereo or surround, as you choose. Some of the direction and acting are a bit broad, but it is a very talky show, heavy on wordplay, and with some mock-Latin thrown in. For the home viewer, the clear subtitles are quite helpful in following the text.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 29, 2010
Shakespeare Love's Labours' Lost - Highly Recommended
Love's Labours' Lost is a play that presents many challenges to a director who wishes to entertain a modern audience while at the same time remaining true to Shakespeare. The Globe has succeeded with an energetic, lively production with the actors and the audience having a rollicking good time. Director Dominic Dromgoole manages to combine an ironic look at serious romantic love and pedantic posturing with rustic clowns and bawdy wordplay.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
This play can seem overly wordy to today's audience but in this production, the director introduces an element of comedy into scenes that are often played 'straight'. The eavesdropping scene where the lovers each read their rather less than admirable poems elicits much laughter as the King rolls across the stage to retrieve his dropped poem and the others conceal themselves in various spots on the large stage, even trying to hide among the audience. The content of the poems is lost in the laughter but that does not seem to matter. The verbose schoolmaster Holofernes and his friend Nathaniel are admirably played by Christopher Godwin and Patrick Godfrey. Their Latin phrases and verbosity baffle Dull and the rest of their listeners but the clarity of their diction allows the audience to appreciate Shakespeare's satire of such pedants.
Other notable performances include Paul Ready as Don Armado, a comical braggart with a strong Spanish accent and sad eyes, who concludes the play with: "You that way; we this way". Seroca Davis as Moth his page and Fergal McElherron as Costard are also outstanding. Trystan Gravelle, the lord who is immediately critical of the King of Navarre's scheme to spend three years in seclusion studying, has a strong performance as Berowne, although at times his Welsh accent may be strange to the American ear. Michelle Terry as the Princess of France conveys a warmth and intelligence which gives life to a role often played with cool detachment. The only slight disappointment was the Rosaline of Thomasine Rand; although beautiful she lacked the strength to be a worthy foil for Trystan Gravelle.
Music plays a prominent role. Before the play begins, a group of musicians plays period instruments to accompany a mime of courting deer portrayed by life-size puppets. During the intermission, the Princess and her ladies interact with the audience while musicians play. The play concludes with songs for Spring and Winter sung by Jaquenetta and Moth respectively with the whole ensemble joining in for the chorus. In addition, the play is enlivened by the choreography of Sian Williams and John Fensom's costumes in the lush colors of autumn are gorgeous.
Overall, I highly recommend this video. Dromgoole has in the words of Berowne "made our sport a comedy".
Irene Farrance/Ted Wilks